JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than 245,000 people worldwide -- including more than 14,000 people in the United States -- have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia as schools, businesses and public events are closed or canceled.
Action News Jax has the very latest information on Florida cases of the coronavirus LIVE on FOX30 and CBS47. Click here to watch.
March 20, 10 p.m.: Putnam County Sheriff’s Office announced the county’s first COVID-19 case. The Sheriff’s Office said a 67-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus.
The Sheriff’s Office said: “The Florida Department of Health in Putnam County (DOH-Putnam) is now conducting its contact investigation and working on identifying and notifying individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period. Contact investigations are a critical way for staff epidemiologists to track and prevent the spread of disease.DOH-Putnam has been monitoring COVID-19 since January and been in contact with Putnam County Emergency Management and medical providers to prepare response activities in the event we were to see cases in Putnam.”
March 20, 5:45 p.m.: Effective Saturday at 6 a.m., beaches in Glynn County, Ga., will be closed until April 13, per the Glynn County Board of Commissioners.
March 20, 5:30 p.m.: St. Johns County announced: “In an effort to maximize observance of the State of Florida’s executive order regarding gatherings on beaches, vehicular access to all St. Johns County beaches will be prohibited beginning Saturday, March 21.”
“The vehicular access restriction, a recommendation of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Augustine Beach Police Department, St. Johns County Emergency Management, and St. Johns County Administration, will be reevaluated throughout the weekend and adjusted as necessary based on available information, beach capacity, crowd size, and voluntary compliance.”
March 20, 4:20 p.m.: Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on non-essential elective medical procedures. All hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices, and other health care practitioners’ offices in the state of Florida are prohibited from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patients immediate health, safety or wellbeing at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition.
READ THE FULL EXECUTIVE ORDER BELOW:
March 20, 2:37 p.m.: According to a memorandum released by the Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, all on-premises food and alcohol consumption has been suspended in the state of Florida.
Establishments may operate their kitchens for purposes of providing delivery or take-out services, according to the executive order.
The executive order lifts the restriction that prohibits restaurants from selling package sales of alcohol for delivery, so customers with an I.D. can order alcohol for delivery or pick-up.
This executive order also forces gyms and fitness centers to close their doors.
March 20, 2:11 p.m.: According to the Jacksonville Mayor, Jacksonville beaches will be closed by tonight at 5 p.m.
March 20, 11 a.m.: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have partnered with 2-1-1 to activate a text line and call center open 24/7, which families can contact to find free meals for children under 18 during the current COVID-19 school closures. This follows the Department’s recent activation of the Summer BreakSpot children’s meal locator website at SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com.
Floridians can now text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211 to find their closest participating Summer BreakSpot location, and can also call 2-1-1 to speak with a live operator 24 hours a day for additional locations.
The following Northeast Florida counties are in operation the week of March 16: Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, and Union.
The following counties will be in operation the week of March 23: Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns and Union.
March 20, 10:26 a.m.: As a precautionary measure to protect customers and employees, JEA is closing its downtown Customer Business Office (CBO), effective Monday, March 23. The office located at 21 W. Church Street will remain closed until further notice.
Customers will continue to be able to pay their bills at www.jea.com, by phone and at over 200 locations throughout the Jacksonville area, including Publix and Winn Dixie. In addition, JEA call center agents will continue to be available to handle customer inquiries. To reach them, please call 904-665-6000 for residential customers, 904-665-6250 for commercial customers or visit www.jea.com.
March 20, 9:59 a.m.: Yelp Jacksonville is trying to get the word out about local restaurants with carry out or curbside pickups.
They’ve compiled a list with more than 170 options so far, however, you should still check with the restaurant of your choice before heading out.
March 20, 9:48 a.m.: Duval County Public Schools’ Duval Homeroom begins Monday and the district is asking families to let them know of their technology needs by the end of the day Friday. Use the following link to complete the survey online via a computer or a cell phone: ow.ly/spHZ50yQU0c. Families who have no other way of completing the survey should call 904-348-5200.
March 20, 9:28 a.m.: In response to COVID-19, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has issued an emergency order that will suspend visitation at all state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential commitment programs until April 15, 2020. DJJ said it has no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at this time.
March 20, 8:43 a.m.: The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced it will credit zoo members with an equal number of days on their memberships as the zoo stays closed.
The Zoo closed indefinitely Saturday, March 14.
March 20, 8:15 a.m.: Flagler County officials confirmed the county’s first coronavirus case Friday morning. The Florida Department of Health notified the county a Volusia resident in Flagler tested positive for the virus.
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